Used to treat my mattress like the ATM.
Is it possible that we’ve used that same mattress to sleep on the one of our greatest cultural phenomenons? As a culture, how have we managed to overlook the artist formally known as Tity Boi and have somewhat shown a lack of appreciation for the courageous and impressive resurgence of 2 Chainz? When you look at it, that oversight itself is surprising.
I’m not really a writer, well, in the sense of “blogging” if you will. Usually when I write, it’s at the speed of rhyme pattern, cadence, and melody. Although one could argue that longer form writing utilizes some of those same rhythmic techniques, but that’s besides the point. What matters is that, I need the reader to bear with me as I try my hand at putting finger to keyboard for the purpose of shedding light on this musical phenomenon.
Maybe I haven’t done enough research, but I don’t understand how the T.R.U University Alumnus hasn’t received higher praise for his anomaly of a career which is ultimately creeping within the red zone of top 5 conversation. (Varsity Standouts, see what I did there?)
Let’s examine this in a nutshell. Someone fact check me, please. (No, seriously.)
Somewhere around ’07, Tity Boi was signed to Disturbing Tha Peace, as the founding member of the rap duo known as Playaz Circle. It was at this time, all those unmarried to the South would finally site a hint of genius in the 2 Chainz lyrical behavior.
“You niggas barely dressin, I got thousands pilin’. That’s that salad dressing, Im on my Thousand Island” – I mean…really…we should have known then.
Looking past that bar, lets examine the fact that the artist formerly known as Tity Boi, was able to get Lil Wayne, one of the biggest artists of the generation, to deliver a hook of that stature on his Playaz Circle record. This was at a time when they we’re still just getting their start, for all intents and purposes. Might I add that that hook was so influential to the landscape of rap today, that you can argue “Duffle Bag Boy” as a staple for the historical structure of the rap climate in the last decade or so, but that is an argument for another day.
OK. Fast forward a bit. A few years go by. A few Playaz Circle Albums come out. But no REAL noise after that.
…Until one day when you’re in the crib layin’ down with MTVJams playing in the background and somehow riding around and gettin’ it at the same time. Wait, what?!
If my memory serves me correctly, it was the Jam of the Week that week. (remember what I said about fact checking? Thanks) “Spend It” by the new emerging face of the south 2 Chainz was EVERYWHERE! You couldn’t get enough. It was raw. It was real. It was 2 Chainz.
From that point forward 2 Chainz has been in the sonic presence of our hip hop/cultural foreground. Boasting some of the most memorable 16’s of all time. And not just here and there either, I mean, all over the place!
“..and then people say, why you mad? Do you know how many 16s 2 Chainz had in him? He did 100 features in one year!”
Well said Mr. West- the Post Modernist of our time. When he got that star to shine again, it was as if he knew he would never let it dim. And we feel that presence with every verse.
In a rap society that grows younger and younger with the evolution of the sport, 39 Year Old 2 Chainz is the go to guy for that guaranteed hit. Keep in mind, we’re talking about a sport where all its newcomers range from 18-22. How fam?! How?!
Let’s take the lesson of Grammy Award Winner, Chance The Rapper for example, when he enlisted two future Hall of Famers in Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz on “No Problem,” (interestingly, prior to this feature, 2 Chainz had recently put out a dedication album to the other artist on Best Rap Performance song). This ended up being the spring board to 2 Chainz getting rewarded with the highest accolade in music. When the Hair Weave Killer finally got that grammy, it was like Damn, all them amazing ass 16’s finally paid off! I mean, the guy really 16’nd himself to a Grammy- and I mean that in the most admirable way possible. Just off the work ethic!
Let’s bring this full circle. 2 Chainz prides himself on loyalty, of which he attributes to his zodiac. It’s no secret that Lil Wayne is going through a lot with his label and therefore has not been able to feed the streets in the quantity that he used to. 2 Chainz puts out an album full of Wayne features that he describes as a dedication to the legend. Remember, this is at a point when Chainz is now one of the biggest in the game. And this works on so many different levels. The frequency in which we hear new Chainz heat is quite reminiscent of someone we championed in our recent rap history – Lil Wayne. 2 Chainz’ feverish work ethic can only be derived from being able to consistently witness a hungry Dedication/Carter II -Weezy at his best.
My point is this. We gotta start giving credit where its due. There’s so much that we haven’t mentioned – Smoke Break with Statik Selektah where he shows off that real rap finesse, his wacky and impressive videos, his philanthropy in his Christmas sweaters – the list could go on forever. From the genius bars, to the realness, to the work ethic, to the loyalty and consistency – Chainz is touching top 5. As he continues to make his runs with 2015 Platinum Single Watch Out and Choir Performed “Good Dank” (Fallon), 2 Chainz has yet to peak. He’s still impressing us with every verse.
“[But ima just tell] em to leave, so Ima keep me a rake. So Imma keep me a wraith. My jewelry look like a lake.”
Dmo can be followed at @ThisisDmo.